Sovereign Rarities Ltd   |   Auction 1 - Sovereign Rarities Ltd and The Royal Mint   |   25 September 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 88





Estimate: 120'000 GBP   |   Starting price: 96'000 GBP Online bidding closed
Victoria (1837-1901), gold Five Pounds, 1839, young filleted head left, front fillet with six full scrolls cresting to right, rear hair fillet with eleven leaves, W WYON. RA. raised on truncation for engraver and designer William Wyon, legend and ornamental toothed border surrounding both sides, VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIARUM REGINA F: D:, rev. The Queen as Una leading the British lion left, holding orb and sceptre, thick plain ground line, date in Roman numerals below, MDCCCXXXIX, W. WYON R.A. curving below, legend around upper half, DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS. edge inscribed in raised letters of upright orientation to obverse, wire line raised border above and below, rose stops, DECUS ET TUTAMEN * ANNO REGNI TERTIO *, weight 39.26g (L&S 17 dies 2AW; W&R 278; S.3851). Toned with a light red colour, number of light handling marks and hairlines in the fields both sides, small dig on neck, two light hairline scratches in obverse field behind head, the raised design both sides, relatively problem free, tiny black spot on reverse field below second G of legend, otherwise in UK grading terms good extremely fine and rare; has been graded and encapsulated by NGC as PF62 Cameo.
NGC certification 4697969-001.

Provenance:
Ex Spink Coin Auction 141, 22nd March 2000, lot 351.
Illustrated on front cover.

The Latin legend upon this coin translate as on the obverse “Victoria, by the grace of od, Queen of the Britons, Defender of the Faith,” and on the reverse as “May God direct my steps,” a Psalm from the Bible. The edge inscription translates as “An ornament and a safeguard, in the third year of the reign,” a reference to safeguarding the coin from the then defunct illegal practice of edge clipping gold coins.
The gold “Una and the lion” Five Pounds of 1839 represents the pinnacle of the modern milled British gold coin series. Amongst the most classic of the coin designs in the entire British series, engraver William Wyon’s master work at the height of his career, was produced as the key coin for the anticipated proof set of all the young head denominations that are dated 1839. Royal Mint record shows that some 400 sets were issued, which were sold gradually over the following decade or more, though undoubtedly single coins like this were available too.
The obverse design depicts the young Queen then only around 20 years of age with her hair bound and filleted, the leading front fillet ornamented with six full scrolls like cresting waves passing to the right; the rear fillet with ten pairs of leaves pointing upwards along a stem, with an extra one at the lower extreme and a partial extra pair at top. The Wyon name is displayed prominently raised on the truncation of the neck, with his credentials as a member of the Royal Academy of Art.
The reverse depicts a classical scene of the Queen as Una leading the British lion which is based on one of the longest poems ever written “The Faerie Queene” by the Tudor poet Edmund Spenser (1553-99). The Queen as “Una” represents Truth, as truth is one, and is depicted in book one of the fable upon adventures with the Patron Saint of Great Britain, St George. They are driven by a storm into the “Wandering Wood” where they shelter in Hypocrisy’s cell together. Once the storm has passed, St George then leaves Una behind, who is then attended to by the lion and leads her onwards in her quest to ultimately reunite with St George.


g This item is sold under the investment gold scheme. VAT may be reclaimed on investment gold lots by VAT registered traders.

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